It is easy to second guess a managers decisions, but Jim Tracy makes it easy. The problem with being stubborn is that you are too stubborn to learn from your mistakes.
From the looks of it, Tracy doesn’t realize that a run counts the same whether it is scored in the 1st inning, 4th inning, or 9th inning. He thinks that only the runs in the 9th count.
On Tuesday in the Colorado Rockies 5-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants Tracy did it again. Down 2-1 in the top of the 7th inning, the Rockies manager sent starting pitcher Esmil Rogers to the plate to hit. With Rogers pitch count barely over 60, there was some reasoning. The problem was not that Rogers shouldn’t have remained in the game to pitch, the problem was that the Rockies needed runs badly and they were running out of outs.
Rogers ended up being the second out of a one-two-three inning and was sent back to the mound to pitch the bottom half. As many fans who have learned the ways of Tracy feared, Rogers gave up a base hit to start the inning and then a single on a hit and run. That is when Tracy did what he does best. He trotted out of the dugout and went to the bullpen.
Matt Reynolds quickly dispatched Pablo Sandoval, and once again Tracy trotted out of the dugout. He went to righty Matt Belisle, who has thrown more innings than any reliever in baseball in 2010. Belisle was able to get out of the inning, looking good doing it. Apparently good enough for Tracy to leave him in the game after Melvin Mora tied it up with a surprise home run to right field in the top of the 8th.
For some reason, Jim Tracy, the matchup mastermind, decided to leave a warm Joe Beimel in the bullpen and allow Belisle to pitch to the left handed hitting Andres Torres. Torres launched a home run to right field and made the Rockies chances seem very small. The reason Belisle remained in the game? Tracy was saving him for Aubrey Huff two hitters later.
Beimel got to face Huff, but it was too late, the damage was done.
Mistakes are made by everyone who puts on a uniform. Pitchers, catchers, outfielders, infielders, hitting coaches, base coaches and managers. They all make mistakes. The question is whether or not that person learns from their mistakes. Tracy clearly does not learn from his mistakes. After being guilty of the exact same mistake in the Rockies last loss on Friday night, Tracy defended his move saying that Ubaldo Jimenez is his ace and he would rather have him on the hill than anyone.
What will the excuse be when he made the same mistake with a guy on the mound who has made seven Major League starts? The one thing for sure, there will be an excuse.
The reason that Tracy was out of baseball in 2008, fired by his second franchise in four years, was because it was widely known that he is a stubborn person. In Pittsburgh and Los Angeles instead of admitting mistakes, Tracy made excuses. In 2009, when Tracy took over there were no excuses to be made, the Rockies were 12 games under .500 and 15 games out of first place. No one expected anything out of him.
In 2010, with expectations high, Tracy continues to hold his team back, and instead of admitting that he may have pushed the wrong buttons, he makes excuses. After he makes the excuses, he continues to push those same buttons that didn’t work the last time.
On Tuesday the mistakes cost the Rockies a game in the wild card race. Eventually, the Rockies will not be able to outplay both the opposite team and their own manager.
The Rockies look to take the series on Wednesday with Ubaldo Jimenez taking on Tim Lincecum. Jimenez goes for win No. 18 for the fifth straight start.
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